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I want to build an app. Is there an app for that? As a matter of fact, there is! If you want to create an app for your business but don’t have the funds to hire a developer, these app makers are for you. And, building it doesn’t have to deplete your bank account. Using these software programs is cheaper than hiring a web developer and, best of all, you can build it yourself. Here’s a comparison of the top 5 mobile app builders that we’ve found.
How to Make an App
The average smartphone user has 26 apps downloaded onto their device. So why not join the app making world! There are a few things you’ll want to know before developing an app. First of all, this is a relatively new industry. The majority of these companies have sprouted up within the past few years, so this industry is constantly evolving. But, the good thing is, you won’t need to know coding for any of them. Thanks to app builders creating apps is easier than ever. With most of the companies you pay a monthly fee so contracts aren’t required. And many offer a free version or a money back guarantee. So, if you’re unsure of how good you’ll be at creating your app, you can test it out first to see how it goes! After your app is live on the App Store, you can make future updates in the app maker so your users can have the most current version. Ready to start building? Read on to learn which is the best app for you!
App Reseller Program: Make Money with Your App
In addition to charging a fee and/or having ads in your apps and generating income from your app that way, many of the companies we reviewed offer reseller programs (meaning after you build your app you can “white label” it and list it on the app builder’s marketplace for purchase by others. Those who purchase your app can then brand it with their own design and take a advantage of having a pre-built app while you make money each time they buy your app. A win-win! However to participate in the reseller program you must pay extra but depending on the service you can list multiple apps for one reseller fee.
Como is confident in their apps, and we are confident in making them our top pick. The company guarantees that you will see results within six months or you’ll get an extra six months free. The example apps shown on their site have great designs and consumers say the tools are easy to use. They also offer a ComoSense which has additional features including loyalty programs, push notifications and automated actions. The downside is that the apps are only available for iOS and Android mobile devices. Reviews also state that Como has excellent customer service although we don’t see a chat feature or phone number to contact them. So it looks like email (or their help center online) is the only way to go. They also have an option to hire a pro in case you need a little extra help.
Como does not offer a free trial, but they do have a 30-day money back guarantee.
- $57/month (if paid monthly)
- $48/month (if you pay for one year upfront)
- $41/month (if you pay for two years upfront)
Coupon CodeUse this link and coupon code GS-COMO-30 to get 30% off all Como App Maker plans.
Appy Pie makes it easy to create apps for HTML5, Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows and Amazon Fire OS using drag and drop functionality. However, if you want your apps to be accessible on all six platforms, you’ll have to purchase the Platinum Appy Pie plan, which is $50/month. Appy Pie includes its branding on all apps except for the Platinum plan so there’s a second reason you may want to go with the upgraded plan. AppyPie was launched in 2013, so it is fairly young for this category, but they’ve built apps for some pretty reputable companies including Nike and Home Depot.
Appy Pie Price per App
Appy Pie offers a 30-day money back guarantee with all of its paid plans.
- Free: displays ads (iOS, Android and HTML5) no credit card required
- Basic: $15/month with no ads (Android and HTML5)
- Gold: $30/month with no ads (iOS, Android and HTML5)
- Platinum: $50/month with no ads (Windows, Blackberry, Kindle, iOS, Android and HTML5)
Appy Pie also offers Lifetime plans per app:
- Basic: $500
- Gold: $1,000
- Platinum: $1,500
Discount for military, non-profits, schools and students on annual and lifetime plans.
Coupon CodeThere are not any Appy Pie coupon codes at this time.
AppMakr was acquired by Infinite Monkeys in 2013 and functionality has been merged together. So, today they both do the same thing for the same price. You can create your own iPhone apps, Android apps and HTML5 mobile formatted websites. To make a profit, you can place your own ads in the app and charge money for users to purchase it, too. Both have HTML 5 functionality, high-resolution photo galleries, design customization, live updates and more. AppMakr started up in 2010 while Infinite Monkeys was a year later, making them both some of the more established app makers (and extremely affordable too). Learn more about AppMakr in our interview with their Founder Jay Shapiro.
AppMakr and Infinite Monkeys Prices
The pricing and products are the same for both brands and none of these options display advertisements:
- Mobile Website: Free (no credit card required)
- App Basics: $1/month billed annually
- App Pro: $9/month billed annually
- Unlimited/Reseller: $39/month allows you to create as many apps as you wish (other plans are only for one app) and you can resell the app to other companies if you wish to increase your revenue.
Coupon CodeThere are not any AppMakr coupon codes at this time.
Other App Builder Reviews
Below are the other app creators we’ve reviewed for this article.
AppInstitute is a UK-based company that makes building an app for your business easy with their custom branded templates and drag and drop editor. The great thing about AppInstitute is they are completely free until you decide to publish your app to the Apple and/or Android store. They also have a number of features including calendar and booking system, adding rich media like videos and streaming music, loyalty programs, accepting online payments, push notifications and more all with real-time stats!
- Core: $28/month billed annually (Android only)
- Professional: $54/month billed annually (includes iOS and additional features like push notifications)
- Enterprise: $96/month billed annually (additional advanced features like CRM)
- Reseller: $120/month billed annually
AppMachine is an app builder based in the Netherlands that scans your existing website to create a recommended app based on your site’s content. Like AppInstitute you can build for free as long as you’d like and you only pay once you hit publish. They also have an app academy to learn more about how to create and promote your app. However, their pricing is on the more expensive end and based on the features we didn’t see any compelling reason that they’d be worth the extra price.
- Plus: $49 per app per month, billed annually (20% savings)
- Pro: $69 per app per month, billed annually (20% savings)
- Reseller Bundle: $99/month for 3 apps, billed monthly
- Reseller Bundle XL: $300/month for 30 apps, billed monthly
iBuildApp has been around since 2010 and has more than 15,000 entities using their apps including universities, government agencies and corporations like Whole Foods. They have easy to use drag and drop builders, thousands of templates to choose from and 25+ features to customize your app. You can update your app at any time and there is even a team available to ensure you have the guidance and tools you need to get your apps published.
iBuild App offers a 15-day money back guarantee.
- Professional: $23.40/month, billed annually
$59.40/month, billed annually
- Business Lifetime: $999 (one-time fee)
- Corporate Organization: $833/month, billed annually
- Enterprise: Contact for Pricing
Nativ lets you start creating an app within seconds with no login, credit card or required info. Simply click on the “start building” icon and it takes you straight into their editor where you can select a layout, pick colors, fonts and apps while previewing the app on the right side of the screen in the real-time previewer as you make selections and changes. They have a basic version to test out but if you upgrade you’ll get access to more insights, be able to send push notifications and more. If you need extra help, you can hire a designer to build it for you for only $200. The only downside is the app is only available for iOS (at the time of publishing).
- Basic: Free for the first month, then $14/month
- Premium: $48/month
- Hire a Designer: Starting at $200
Shoutem is an app creator tool that offers one set price for unlimited support, similar features and ongoing updates. You just pick the level that fits the operating system you wish to use (the higher priced plans also offer additional features). Features are similar to the other services in that they include events, loyalty programs, social integrations and more. They also offer optional packages that include professional or enterprise set up if you’re looking for something unique or need a little extra help.
- Basic: $19.90/month, billed annually (HTML5 only)
- Advanced: $49.00/month, billed annually (iPhone, Android, HTML5 and includes push notifications)
- Unlimited: $119.90/month, billed annually (also includes iPad app and API access)
- Enterprise: contact for info
Why Not Hire Someone To Develop an App?
Hiring someone for a job can be a bit scary and the same goes for building apps. Now you don’t have to worry about hiring someone like Dennis (watch the video below) because you can learn how to develop an app yourself using app builder software!
But, don’t worry, if you need a little extra help, some of the services we reviewed offer professional app designers at an affordable price.
Are There Additional Costs to Building an App?
As of May 2015, Android users had 1.5 million apps to choose from while Apple users had 1.4 million. So you’ll probably want to have your app available in both the Google Play Store and the iTunes Store since they are the two largest App Stores. Typically you have to pay the store to have your app available for download.
Apple charges a $99 annual developer fee and Google Play charges a one-time fee of $25.
That’s not cheap, but hopefully your app will be getting a lot of downloads and eventually you can charge a fee or even put ads on your apps.
What app ideas do you have?